MercadoLibre plans to double workforce with 16,000 new jobs in Latin America

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Latin American e-commerce powerhouse will double its workforce across the region to handle the surge in online purchases, according to company staff.

Latin America’s e-commerce powerhouse MercadoLibre Inc, which has grown exponentially during the coronavirus pandemic, will double its workforce across the region to handle the surge in online purchases.

The Buenos Aires-based company plans to end the year with a direct workforce of 32,000 people, up from 15,500 at the end of 2020, said Sebastián Fernández Silva, senior vice-president and chief people officer at MercadoLibre.

The move follows a year in which strict lockdowns pushed Latin Americans to buy online – in many cases for the first time – and increasingly turn to digital payment options. The jump has also spurred a rally in the company’s share prices, which more than doubled in the past year and with a market value that peaked in January around US$100 billion.

The company already has the funding it needs for the push after it raised US$1.1 billion through a bond sale earlier this year and is not planning any additional capital raises for the hiring, Fernandez Silva said.

MercadoLibre is also investing a record US$1.1 billion in Mexico this year, more than in the past four years combined, the company’s country manager for Mexico, David Geisen said. The funds will be used to double the capacity of the company’s storage units, strengthen the logistics network, and boost its fintech offerings.

Brazil is the company’s largest market, and Mexico overtook Argentina as the second largest in the fourth quarter, passing the US$1-billion mark in quarterly gross merchandise volume.

Here’s how the company plans to focus its hiring:

By sector:
– 11,000 of the new hires will be for the company’s Envios delivery and logistics system
– 4,000 for technology and software development roles
– 1,000 for others

By country:
– 7,200 new jobs in Brazil, adding to its existing 4,969 workforce
– 4,700 new jobs in Mexico, adding to its existing 1,022 workforce
– 2,800 new jobs in Argentina, adding to its existing 7,009 jobs
– 850 new jobs in Colombia, adding to the current 965 jobs
– 300 new jobs in Chile, adding to the current 419 jobs
– 150 new jobs in Uruguay, up from 1,126 currently

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